Product Review: Remotext Remote Control/Keyboard


Hyperkin’s Remotext is designed to be everything to everyone: gaming controller, media remote, and full QWERTY keyboard. Unfortunately, certain design flaws hinder Remotext’s performance in the first two areas. And as the controller is really only successful as a keyboard, it’s difficult to recommend this product to anyone who wants more than a mini keyboard.

Remotext is light – perhaps lighter than Sony’s media remote – and I appreciate the rubberized texture of the remote. Oriented vertically, Remotext looks like a typical media remote with readily accessible buttons for play, pause, fast-forward, and so on. Oriented horizontally, Remotext could be used as a gaming controller. It sports the typical face buttons, d-pad, and two analog nubs. Your DualShock controllers needn’t fear for their place in your household, though, as it’s exceptionally difficult to play games with Remotext for a number of reasons: It’s awkward to hold Remotext for any length of time (it’s shaped like an NES controller with four times as many buttons). The analog nubs are stiff, unresponsive, and lack the L3/R3 click functionality. The only shoulder buttons present are L2/R2. L1/R1 are mapped to “previous/next chapter” on the vertically-oriented media remote portion of the layout, so these buttons that should be shoulder buttons are very difficult to reach.

When used as a media remote, Remotext is perfectly serviceable. All of the most useful buttons are immediately accessible, and the remote isn’t cluttered with hoards of useless buttons, like Sony’s PS3-branded media remote. Still, I sometimes have to press a button twice before it registers, and some of the hard plastic pieces (most notably the analog nubs) have a tacky bevel of sharpish plastic that one would probably do well to sand down before use. Such design touches lower my expectations of the product. Also, whether I hold the remote in my left hand or right hand, I invariably accidentally depress the R2 shoulder button, which hasn’t done anything undesirable so far (like exit Netflix, or cause a blu-ray disc to self-destruct), but it’s annoying to click frequently an unintended button.

The best feature of Remotext is its face’s ability to slide upward to reveal a hidden QWERTY keyboard. It’s nice to have a keyboard: I use it for searching for movies via the PS3’s Netflix interface and occasionally for messaging friends. If I still hung out in my Fat Princess clan’s private text chat room, well, the Remotext would be invaluable there as well. (Yes, I used to be in a Fat Princess clan – just one of my many manly qualities that have all the girls in a tizzy.) So I appreciate the keyboard, but again, I have some complaints about it: The keys are tiny, tiny, tiny, and rather stiff. Now, I’m no ballerina, but I would hazard that even those who have digits that are more slender and elegant than mine might occasionally punch an unintended key on this pad.

A few final gripes: First, this controller does not support Bluetooth. It requires a USB dongle to function. This could well be a deal-breaker for many, especially those with the PS3 Slims, which sport only two USB ports natively.

Second, Remotext registers with the system as a game controller rather than as a media controller. I have my system set up to automatically turn off gaming controllers after ten minutes of inactivity, so Remotext is likewise turned off. I was annoyed a number of times as I watched a movie and tried to pause with my Remotext, only to recall that, of course, the system had turned off the controller, so I’d have to spend a few seconds resyncing the controller before I could pause. Sure, I could change my system settings, but all things considered, I’d just as soon stick to my Sony PS3 media remote, which doesn’t have a similar issue.

Third, Remotext charges via mini-USB just like a typical gaming controller. But the system doesn’t register Remotext’s battery life, and the controller itself has no indication of its charge, either, so Remotext might well run out of juice unexpectedly.

In sum, if you are on the market for a small (well, tiny) wireless keyboard for your PS3, and you don’t mind devoting a USB port to the device, then Remotext may well be a good option for you. If you principally want a media remote (or a gaming controller!), then I’d advise you to keep shopping around. With an MSRP of 30 USD, Remotext’s price isn’t unreasonable, but it’s value would have been much higher if it did certain things better. In fact, I’d suggest to the manufacturers that they drop the gaming controller abilities entirely and devote whatever resources are thus freed up to increasing the quality of the product’s construction. Remotext would be great if it were just a well-designed and well-manufactured media remote / keyboard hybrid.

Review

ProsCons
Miniature wireless keyboard
Small and lightweight
Unresponsive buttons
Indifferent workmanship
Requires dedicated USB receiver
Keyboard buttons are a bit small
Rating
50%

This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Remotext provided by Hyperkin.


Written by: premiersoupir - News Contributor


  1. #1 by Kane112 on October 23rd, 2011 [ 34232 Points ]

    ah shame it doesnt work too well would love a nice mini keyboard for my ps3.

  2. #2 by Markus on October 23rd, 2011 [ 4322 Points ]

    Interesting. I doubt I’d use it as a controller but I’d consider picking it up as a mini keyboard and remote. Nice review

  3. #3 by EdEN on October 24th, 2011 [ 142681 Points ]

    Mmm, for $30 I would go for this wired extra controller/do it all. I need 3 more for a Cubbix HD trophy so you never know hahaha.

  4. #4 by premiersoupir on October 24th, 2011 [ 17020 Points ]

    EdEN: Mmm, for $30 I would go for this wired extra controller/do it all. I need 3 more for a Cubbix HD trophy so you never know hahaha.

    Yeah, the price certainly counts toward points in Remotext’s favor, as a DS3 goes for $50 or so. But it’s just very difficult to use this effectively as a gaming controller. And a minor correction, which perhaps I neglected to make clear enough in the article: The Remotext is wireless, though it requires a USB receiver, which is about the size and shape of a typical thumb drive.

  5. #5 by EdEN on October 24th, 2011 [ 142681 Points ]

    @premiersoupir: Ah, wireless for $30 then? Might be a great extra controller for those that visit over as to not hand them a $50+ Dualshock hahaha.

  6. #6 by dragon290513 on October 24th, 2011 [ 7218 Points ]

    wow this looks interesting, although i doubt the build quality is any good

  7. #7 by Pedro on October 24th, 2011 [ 39949 Points ]

    It doesn’t sound like a good deal. I think I’ll get a PS3 media remote, it’s the only piece missing on my setup.

    Great review, a shame the product wasn’t really good.

  8. #8 by Oly on October 24th, 2011 [ 132360 Points ]

    Might be ok for playing around in home, for casual chat?? lol Like I would ever do that.. I mean I know I am the Hamster King and all, but…. lol

    Nice review.

  9. #9 by Kane112 on October 24th, 2011 [ 34232 Points ]

    Oly: Might be ok for playing around in home, for casual chat?? lol Like I would ever do that.. I mean I know I am the Hamster King and all, but…. lolNice review.  

    hahaha forgot all about those Hamsters You know i got the media remote when i got my ps3 and havent even touched it

  10. #10 by wolfkin on October 31st, 2011 [ 6633 Points ]

    the system doesn’t register Remotext’s battery life, and the controller itself has no indication of its charge, either, so Remotext might well run out of juice unexpectedly.

    unforgivable. that’s a real dealbreaker. I’m used to shuffling things in my 2 usb ports (though why on earth they ever went down from 4 is beyond me and i hate hate hate having only two.

    What clan were you in? I used to be big in the CAG clan we were the Knights of the Round Princess not that we were as organized as the Broccoli’s or the Number 2s or the Undeads or what have you.

  11. #11 by premiersoupir on October 31st, 2011 [ 17020 Points ]

    wolfkin: What clan were you in? I used to be big in the CAG clan we were the Knights of the Round Princess not that we were as organized as the Broccoli’s or the Number 2s or the Undeads or what have you.

    Oh yeah, I remember CAG, for sure! I was in the Smurfs, which was a large but loosely-knit organization that revolved in large part around communal inebriation while playing the game. Not conducive to professional-level play. :) Dunno if the clan is extant — haven’t played in a long time. Fat Rolls killed it for me with the dumb new classes.

  12. #12 by wolfkin on October 31st, 2011 [ 6633 Points ]

    the old days were something else weren’t they when the Ranger wasn’t nerfed and the Ice Mage was a beast. You’re somewhat right the new classes do make some aspects of the game obsolete. On certain maps once you get giants and pirates doors aren’t even worth the trouble.

  13. #13 by premiersoupir on November 1st, 2011 [ 17020 Points ]

    yeah, good times — and the dark priest had the killer long and powerful vampiric drain. I must say that the ranger’s one hit kill trick annoyed me quite a bit, though. anyway, yes, the door busting stuff was game breaking, as you say. also, game balance was dramatically altered simply by adding three new classes with six hit points. totally stupid. plus the maps obviously weren’t designed to support additional classes, so the weird magic hat machine feels like a hack that’s out of place in my castle, leaving aside the strange three-in-one delivery method for the new classes. frustrating — I used to love that game.

    what are your favorite maps? I love the big maps like rocky road and new pork. also the classic forested ones like great gorge and black forest.

  14. #14 by wolfkin on November 1st, 2011 [ 6633 Points ]

    What’s funny is that I’m never sure if the DP was everything they said he was. Back when they updated the blog with a listing of what the area version of the DP magic did it was stuff like

    – makes you dizzy
    – makes you untargetable
    – makes you unable to target
    – dispel your held charge
    and a few others

    but that last one. That means a DP should be able to hold on to a charge and when I get close cancel your charged up fire but it NEVER in my knowledge did that and that was insanely frustrating to me, because I would want to mix it up and get in the battle but as a DP if you get close enough to hit someone with you area spell and then STILL get to burn/freeze you that’s game over.

    You get all the trophies? I really wanted to because I love the game but that Gladiate trophy is insane. I’m gonna have better luck the day I decided to spend 20 hours getting the DLC trophies.. those are at least doable.

  15. #15 by premiersoupir on November 1st, 2011 [ 17020 Points ]

    yeah, dunno that the dp aoe attack cancels a held charge. sounds like an awesome ability, tho! even before he was nerfed, the dp wasn’t really competitive, but I had fun messing with people as a dp in casual pick-up games. and no, I don’t have all the trophies. missing the gladiator trophy (a boring slog) and the blocking trophy as I rarely play warrior. also lacking all of the dlc trophies.


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